Judge orders release of David Gregory affidavit after gun display

'Meet the Press' host was not prosecuted for breaking D.C. law by displaying high-capacity magazine on air

David Gregory displays a high-capacity magazine on "Meet The Press," Dec. 23, 2012. (AP/NBC News)

A federal judge has ordered the District of Columbia to release the affidavit stemming from the Metropolitan Police Department's investigation of David Gregory after the "Meet the Press" host displayed a high-capacity ammunition magazine on the air while taping the program in NBC's Washington, D.C., studio in 2012.

William Jacobson, a conservative blogger, filed a Freedom of Information Act suit last year seeking the records after Gregory was not prosecuted despite warnings from D.C. police to producers that the display would be a clear violation of D.C.'s gun laws.

Earlier this month, D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Okun ordered the District of Columbia to produce the affidavit in Gregory's case. The district has until Jan. 7 to comply.

Gregory displayed the high-capacity magazine on the Dec. 23, 2012, broadcast during an interview with National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people, including 20 children, were killed.

"So here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets," Gregory said. "Now isn't it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, 'Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or 10 bullets,' isn't it just possible that we can reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?"

"I don't believe that's going to make one difference," LaPierre said. "There are so many different ways he could have done it. And there's an endless amount of ways a monster could have done it."

After the interview aired, conservative bloggers wondered if Gregory had broken the law that states, in part, "No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm."

But in January 2013, D.C. Attorney General Irvin D. Nathan informed NBC that Gregory would not be charged with a crime.

While the display "meets the definition" of the criminal statute, Nathan wrote in a letter to the network's lawyers, Gregory's prosecution "would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust."

"That’s not how the average person is treated in D.C., where the technicalities of the gun laws are enforced with obsessive prosecutorial vigor," Jacobson wrote. "And that’s the point. We never wanted David Gregory prosecuted for violating the ridiculous gun law provision, we wanted public officials to be held accountable for the unequal application of the law."

Gregory, who became host of "Meet the Press" in 2008, left the show in August amid declining ratings.

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